Arab On Radar
Yahweh or the Highway
I should’ve known then, six years ago, that Arab On Radar were onto something totally and utterly alien. Not only did the drummer look like Charles Bronson and have his visage emblazoned on his bass head, the vocalist called headliners Cable a bunch of “Black Sabbath motherfuckers,” and have an Amazonian female bassist in tow, but the mutant-disco din AOR (get it?) created live was so beyond staccato, so beyond grating, so beyond ALIENating, it could’ve been the second coming of Public Image Limited’s Metal Box. Then again, I didn’t exactly know that at the time, so I picked up their tame-by-comparison demo tape and went on my way. My loss. A lot has transpired in that time • like, three albums • and now another, Yahweh or the Highway, is upon us. If said demo tape was Scratch Acid, then this latest, brilliantly titled LP would be The Jesus Lizard, as the focus is largely on antagonizing the poor, hapless listener: beats employed not for rhythm but for providing percussive punctuation, guitars that sound more like seismograph squiggles, and vocals that garble all sorts of libertine grime about semen and such. Freakish to behold, like de Sade transposed onto “music.” The second coming of the ever-dubious “pig fuck” faux-genre?